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Old 09-25-2023, 02:05 PM   #1
New Member
1981 31' Excella II
Georgetown , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2023
Posts: 1
My Brothers Airstream

I am inheriting my brothers Airstream (he passed away last week at the age of 35). It is an '81 Excella II 31' and needs to be completely gutted and renovated. I am up to the task, but my concern is that it has been parked for 10 years. I am planning to get new tires but would like some advice on brakes. It is mostly empty now, just a couple cabinets left so it is not at full weight. I don't want to go through the trouble of having to completely re-do the brakes right now since I still have a lot of work to do. BUT!! I need to haul it from Western Georgia, to Central TX (where I live).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks (PS, new to the group but looking forward to collaborating.)
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Old 09-25-2023, 02:38 PM   #2
Rivet Master

1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2,880
I would think that if the trailer is mostly empty, the wheel bearings are in decent shape, new tires and a sway control hitch setup, you may mot need the brakes for the trip home. I donít know what the state laws are regarding brakes and break away switch. We towed a 55 FC back from Michigan years ago, but it didnít weigh but 3200 lbs. No brakes and lost a few pack rats along the way. Others will chime in. Good luck
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Old 09-25-2023, 03:10 PM   #3
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,285
Welcome to the Forums!

Sorry to hear about your brother--too young.

Have a look at the little plaque that is riveted onto the outside of the trailer to get an idea of the trailer weight. You have a large trailer, and by the time the 80's rolled around, they were becoming more "modern", that is to say HEAVY.

What are you towing with (oops, I just made this into a towing thread)?

As I recall off the top of my head, the towing laws in TX state you have to have trailer brakes for anything over 4000 lbs (but that might have changed recently).

Regardless, breakaway switches, functioning brakes with controllers, and weight distribution are always a best practice.

good luck!
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Old 09-25-2023, 03:12 PM   #4
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Airstream - Other
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2,442
Sorry for your loss.
As far as the brakes, do you mean they don't work or you don't know if they work?
Towing without brakes of course in never recommended but it will have a lot to do with what you are towing with. An F350 dually doable but a 1/2 ton truck or an SUV maybe not so doable. I had to tow a 7,000 lb trailer a couple hundred miles with brake failure with my F350 SRW, took it slow and didn't have any problems but you could really feel it pushing back there. Highway no problem but in town with traffic lights is another story.
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